Day At The Track

Stallion Station: the emerging breeding giant

01:13 AM 15 Sep 2010 NZST
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Boom sire,  Mach Three Mister Big Auckland Reactor will have the services Somebeachsomewhere
Boom sire, Mach Three - is having another tremendious year
Mister Big
Auckland Reactor will have the services - of Maurice McKendry in the 2012 NZ Cup.
Race Images Photo
Somebeachsomewhere - The fastest three-year-old in the history of the sport
Nigel Soult Photo
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Stallion Station this year boasts a stallion roster without doubt the envy of the world when it comes to harness racing stallions. Boasting 15 world class stallions, including proven sires, Mach Three, and Courage Under Fire, who are now well entrenched at the top of most sire lists.

Add in the two northern hemisphere superstar freshman sires Mister Big and Art Official and all of a sudden the leap of faith taken 5 years ago, has seen Stallion Station emerge from the shadows as a serious player in the industry.

"The bloodlines and progeny have really stepped up a level in each year of operation at Stallion Station" says marketing manager and harness racing and bloodstock expert Les Joslin. "The risks taken to setup Stallion Station from nothing 5 years ago has really proven worth it, as the quality of Stallions has improved so too has the numbers of mares bred through our Stallions. We are extremely proud of our line up, which we believe is second to none in the world".

The number of mares bred by Stallion Station sires has increased each year of operation by more than 50% and the emergence has been both dramatic and exciting. The increase is expected to continue further this year with the new 3 new stallions being introduced to the roster. Both Courage Under Fire and Mach Three books, are about to close, which isn't surprising given the form and success of their respective progeny of late.

Both Mister Big and Art Official have just finished very successful northern hemisphere seasons with both serving over 110 mares in a very tough North American market. Having the Richest Stallion of all time at stud, is a real coup for Stallion Station and their clients. Art Official also boast an array of accolades that will excite breeders, including a meadowlands pace win in a world record 1.47.

The latest to arrive, just in time for the season to commence is New Zealand Superstar, Auckland Reactor. The twice NZ harness racing horse of the year still holds 6 race records and an extensive list of awards and accolades. He is the best son of Mach Three to race in the southern hemisphere and at $5,000 is simply sensational value. He will likely have a restricted book available this year.

Add to the big guns, the ultra consistent Pacific Fella, and Town Champion, the fast improving Riverboat King, and the regally bred duo Righteous Hanover and Royal Mattjesty, and you have a line up to suit all needs. These horses really compliment the big guns at the value end of the market and all have had the progeny doing really well on the track.

The two Trotting Sires Majestic Son and Armbro Invasion continue to receive excellent support. A loyalty discount has been applied to those breeders going back to Majestic son from last season.

The Stallions themselves have a variety of owners and ownership structure, with some being owned or part owned by Stallion Station, others leased from Northern American interests and the new Major In Art syndicate. The standard of care with the stallions has ensured the various owners have the confidence in Stallion Station to ensure their valuable stallions are fit and well and always on top of their game.

The Syndication of Stallions is an area that Stallion Station is really keen to develop further after the success of Major In Art. Stallion Station Syndications was created and breeders invited to participate by taking up units in him.

He was real value having purchased him off the racetrack and in his first year at stud last season served over 220 mares. His success at stud and as an investment is almost assured as each unit holder receives 2 free breeds for the first 2 years and already having received a large portion of their investment back via distributions. Having so may foals about to hit the ground he really has every chance of making the grade as a stallion.

The Strategy of syndications seems like a win-win for both the stud and the breeders and the industry can expect more of the same from "Team Stallion Station" who keep inventing new ways to improve their own operation for the benefit of the entire breeding industry. The first of the Major In Art foals arrived last week, with the owners being delighted with the results.

To round out the roster, is New Zealand's second faster pacer ever Attorney General and last seasons surprise package Safari, he served over 230 mares, which gives him every chance at stud, he really looks like continuing the Fake Left legacy and breeders are once again flocking to him.

The roster really hits the mark, with a variety of bloodlines at prices that really provides a complete package for both commercial breeders and the hobby breeders and all those in between.

The supply of fresh semen across Australasia has also seen a massive improvement at Stallion Station. As the numbers grew the importance of the logistics team and the quality of semen had to lift with the increased workload and expectations.

Gary Wickham in Australia and Ron Burrell based in New Zealand, created a network of well timed and efficient couriers and transporters to ensure the semen arrives on time with the minimum of disruption to the breeders.

Wickham said that he had been extremely happy with the improvements made in this department and continues to be refined all the time. The feedback we are getting says we are on the right track, so listening to the Vets, semen centres and our industry partners has really paid off.

It is clear, talking to the team that they are passionate about the harness breeding industry and are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve the bloodlines available and the service provided. Stallion Station has 15 Stallions on the roster this year, 9 standing in Australian and 6 on their farm in New Zealand.

Duane RANGER (editor)

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